Gilt, currently valued at more than $1 billion, was launched by Alexis Maybank, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, and three colleagues in 2007. It is one of the most fascinating startups of recent years. And it all began with one bold idea: to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop. As they write about the day Gilt.com went live: "We had created a Web site that could potentially change the rules of retail...If shopping was traditionally a slow, leisurely activity...it would now be competitive, addictive, urgent, thrilling...not just easier, but so much more fun." Alexis and Alexandra share their perspective in this dramatic story of Gilt's birth, rise, and evolution. They show how they juggled the conflicting needs of their suppliers, engineers, marketers, and potential investors. They explain how they blended their individual strengths and weaknesses and managed their rapidly growing team. And they take us through the darkest moments of the recession when Gilt might easily have died.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson cofounded Gilt Groupe with Kevin Ryan, Mike Bryzek, and Phong Nguyen. Both have BAs from Harvard College and MBAs from Harvard Business School. They live in Manhattan with their husbands and children.
Table of Contents
Preface: Relationships. Execution xi
Introduction: Zac Posen in Daniel Island, South Carolina? 1
Chapter 1 The Perfect Complements: Our Journey from Cambridge to New York (Featuring eBay, Louis Vuitton, Plenty of Sample Sales, and One Fabulous Wedding in Miami) 7
Chapter 2 The History of an Idea: Dreaming Up Gilt Groupe 31
Chapter 3 From the Best of Friends to Business Partners: How to Know When You've Met Your Match 40
Chapter 4 An Idea Becomes Reality: Starting Your Business at the Right Time 61
Chapter 5 Networking Our Way to a November Launch 77
Chapter 6 Changing the Look of E-commerce: Photos, Curation, and Gilt Groupe's Visual Branding 90
Chapter 7 Dating, Marriage, and How to Get the Right Venture Capitalist to Fall for Your Start-up 99
Chapter 8 From College Fashionistas to Urban It Girls: Planting the Seeds of a Viral Phenomenon 122
Chapter 9 The Ground Game: Insider Marketing and How to Keep a Growing Business Exclusive 136
Chapter 10 Cubicles, Cappuccinos, and How We Built an Effective Start-up Team 150
Chapter 11 In Which We Face a Supply Crunch, Are Momentarily Tempted to Compromise Our Integrity, Struggle to Satisfy the Appetites of a Growing Membership, and Come Face-to-Face with a Worldwide Recession 165
Chapter 12 How We Developed Our Own Leadership Styles-Even as Gilt Groupe Grew and Our Roles Evolved 189
Chapter 13 Hypergrowth, Exhaustion, and One Hilarious Japanese Press Conference 221
Chapter 14 Growth, Partnership, and the Future of Fashion and E-commerce 241
What People are Saying About This
“By Invitation Only is a must read for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who will be inspired by their journey and how passion, purpose and partnership fueled a revolution in shopping!”
“A fantastic adventure of entrepreneurship and girl power. Buy it, read it, enjoy it. You will certainly learn from it.”
"First, Gilt Groupe’s co-founders changed the way we shop by recreating the excitement of a sample sale online. Now, with “By Invitation Only,” they’ve let us in on their innovative creative process. Anyone who hopes to understand the world of tech entrepreneurship or upend it would be wise to read it."
“The story reads as a how-to manual for any entrepreneur looking to start something big and disruptive.” Xconomy.com
"An exciting story about an exciting start-up. Alexis and Alexandra saw a fantastic opportunity in the luxury space and took it."
“Alexis and Alexandra are the ultimate entrepreneurs, having combined their love of fashion with the evolution of technology. They changed the way millions of people shop and have inspired others to follow in their footsteps. This book gives valuable insight into starting and building a business from the ground up based on one good idea. It’s a must-read for anyone who has a dream and entrepreneurial spirit.”
"Gilt Groupe has forever changed the landscape of e-commerce. Not since eBay has there been such a revolution in the way we shop. Alexis and Alexandra redefined the way we approach luxury."
"Alexis and Alexandra have created something original and amazing, and they did it in the simplest way possible. They found something they loved, and they figured out how to bring it to the massive amount of people they knew would love it too."
"By Invitation Only is a brilliantly written book because its authors, who were friends before they were business partners, respected each other's ability to cultivate relationships, take calculated risks, and execute their game-changing, visionary ideas. The key takeaway is that one needs to have an entrepreneurial spirit and indomitable will to succeed, no matter what career path you choose!"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great record of how Gilt was built. They share business and management tips while inspiring the reader to turn a passion into a business. Enjoyable and useful
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